Parvo-positive dogs at Central Dakota Humane Society

Central Dakota Humane Society has closed up their dog unit for the time being due to an outbreak of a deadly disease. Shelby Rose tells us about Parvo and the steps the shelter is taking to keep it from spreading.

The Central Dakota Humane Society in Mandan has had a hectic week. Two of their new puppies came down with the parvo virus.

“Sadly, it is a fairly common thing. And so, we knew what to look for, and once we know for sure they’re positive, we really have to isolate them,” said shelter director Sue Buchholz.

But what exactly does it do?

Veternarian Marie Henderson, D.V.M says, “Typically, it causes vomiting and diarrhea. It can range from being very mild to to them being very, very sick, and actually, being so bad that they can die.”

What’s unique about this situation, the two infected dogs are from two different litters. So, the virus came from two different places. 

Buchholz added, “They weren’t exposed to each other at all and they’re held in individual kennels. So no, the vet said it happened prior to them coming here. We just got them once they broke with symptoms.”

Central Dakota Humane isn’t taking any dogs in or adopting any out until their vet says it’s okay. And that could take at least two more weeks.

“We don’t want to expose anybody else to it,” said Buchholz.

That’s because the Parvo virus is highly contagious. It can easily be spread from puppy to puppy, and it can stay inside a kennel for months or even years unless taken care of properly.

Sue: “We just have to really, really diligently clean with bleach, and we have other disinfectants that kill parvo as well.”

Sue can’t remember the last time Central Dakota had a parvo outbreak. But they do a wellness check on each animal that comes in, even if they appear to be healthy. There’s no way to tell at first if a dog has been exposed. 

She said, “That’s our concern for every new animal that comes in and has no vaccination history. And that’s why it’s so important to vaccinate your animals.”

It’s easy too, just ask for the distemper vaccination at your local vet.

We are happy to report the two puppies infected with Parvo are expected to make a full recovery.

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